We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cookie Recipe #4 - Gingersnaps

I believe there have been studies done showing the benefits of ginger, one being settling an upset stomach. I say it's an excuse to eat gingersnaps! If it helps your digestive system, eat more!

Recipe for Gingersnaps:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups shortening, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, 2 beaten eggs, 4 cups all-purpose flour, 4 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, ground cloves, and ginger.

In large mixing bowl, beat the shortening a few seconds. Add sugar and continue beating, then the molasses. Drop eggs in center of bowl; beat them a few seconds then incorporate into the shortening, sugar and molasses mixture. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger over bowl. Stir until completley mixed. In a small bowl, place 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar.

With floured fingers, form 1-1 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar. When completely covered with sugar, place on ungreased baking sheet about 2 1/2 inches apart. Place in center of oven, one sheet at a time.

Bake about 9-10 minutes. Cookies should have cracked slightly on top and should be lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for a minute or two. Transfer to cooling racks.

Gingersnaps should be a little crispy around the edges, but soft and yummy in the middle. These are good served with a Pumpkin Dip (recipe to follow) or all by themselves. Be good to your tummy and eat several!

Pumpkin Dip Recipe: 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened, 1-18 oz. can pumpkin pie mix, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger.

Beat cream cheese in bowl until smooth; add pumpkin pie mix and beat well. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; blend completely. Serve with cookies. Store in refrigerator.

I've started out with basic cookies-a few more are on the way. Later, I will introduce some I came up with by experimenting. Stay tuned...

Cookies Rule!!!

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